First, Dr. McKnight and Zondervan thank you for the advance copy.
The Blue Parakeet is a text that discusses how we actually read the Bible. Dr. McKnight brings up two key ideas throughout his short work. His first organizing principle is the concept that the Bible was written in a certain period’s time and ways. The second is that we are to read the Bible alongside of tradition as opposed to through it.
Dr. McKnight seeks to challenge some of the assumptions that we have regarding how we read the Bible. He begins with a discussion of his own history where people would “read the Bible and do what it says” even though as he began reading the Bible for himself he realized that they did not do all it says. This then leads to the dominant question that he seeks to answer: how do we read the Bible in our times and our ways?
The book is divided into four parts, “What is the Bible”, “What Do I Do with the Bible”, How Do I Benefit from the Bible”, and “Women in Church Ministries Today”. The first section provides Dr. McKnight’s organizing principles. The second and third sections discuss the proofs and ramifications for his new hermeneutic. The fourth section provides an application to a particular issue within the Christian church.
Dr. McKnight writes an engaging book. I think that he has provided a useful challenge to the assumptions with which we tend to come to the Bible with. He also provides a wonderful framework for understanding the Bible as story.
Many, no doubt, will struggle with his section on women. I am not sure that he proves his point fully. I would like to see this section developed more in a future work.
In conclusion, I would recommend this text for those who are thinking about how to read and understand the Bible in a post-modern, post-Christendom context. I would caution the reader to read with a critical eye as it easy to get caught up in Dr. McKnight’s winsome prose. This will be a text that will be at the center of the conversation for some time to come.